Junior NBA: where amazing happens

Oct 14, 2010

As a follow-up to yesterday’s story about Dwight Howard in China and Taiwan, Alan Yi tells us about the Junior NBA competition that finished last week.

After several rounds of fierce competition in both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, 12 young Chinese basketball players finally stood out on Wednesday in Beijing as the final champions for the 2010 Amway Nutrilite Junior NBA Event.

The players, from Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei, are among 50,000 other youngsters across the country who took part in the event, which was initiated this April and includes four parts: Street Show, City Camp, the Final and the NBA All-Star Weekend Experience.

As rewards, these young champions will embark on a free trip to experience next year’s NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

The kids fought together, setting screens for each other, giving high-fives, pulling a teammate up who fell down. One player said, “I made lots of friends. We will keep in contact after the match. We are brothers forever.” What they got from the experience was far more than basketball.

Parents watched from the side and cheered for their children. Some were more nerve-wracked to watch their sons than if they were playing themselves.

The most important lesson on the court may have been the setbacks and losses. One team that lost sat in silence, contemplating the reasons for their failure.

Coach Robert Horry told them, “Everyone needs to face failure, especially a player. Even when you fall you can learned a lot. You need to know how to find happiness when playing, how to respect your opponents, how to do teamwork.”

Next year, more players will come back to shoot for their dreams and walk away with an amazing experience.

“This is such an important experience for the kids, which can make them go further in the sports career,” says Horry, a former NBA star himself. “It’s not only a basketball game. That’s the magic of Junior NBA.”



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